Comprising Information for the Mistress, Housekeeper, Cook, Kitchen-maid, Butler, Footman, Coachman, Valet, Upper and under house-maids, Lady’s-maid, Maid-of-all-work, Laundry-maid, Nurse and nurse-maid, Monthly, wet, and sick nurses, etc. etc. also, sanitary, medical, & legal memoranda; with a history of the origin, properties, and uses of all things connected with home life and comfort.
Mode.—Bone the anchovies, and pound them in a mortar to a paste, with 1 oz. of butter. Make the melted butter hot, stir in the pounded anchovies and cayenne; simmer for 3 or 4 minutes; and if liked, add a squeeze of lemon-juice. A more general and expeditious way of making this sauce is to stir in 1–1/2 tablespoonfuls of anchovy essence to 1/2 pint of melted butter, and to add seasoning to taste. Boil the whole up for 1 minute, and serve hot.
Time.—5 minutes. Average cost, 5d. for 1/2 pint.
Sufficient, this quantity, for a brill, small turbot, 3 or 4 soles, &c.
[Illustration: THE CAPISCUM.]
CAYENNE.—This is the most acrid and stimulating spice with which we are acquainted. It is a powder prepared from several varieties of the capsicum annual East–India plants, of which there are three so far naturalized in this country as to be able to grow in the open air: these are the Guinea, the Cherry, and the Bell pepper. All the pods of these are extremely pungent to the taste, and in the green state are used by us as a pickle. When ripe, they are ground into cayenne pepper, and sold as a condiment. The best of this, however, is made in the West Indies, from what is called the Bird pepper, on account of hens and turkeys being extremely partial to it. It is imported ready for use. Of the capiscum species of plants there are five; but the principal are,—1. Capsicum annuum, the common long-podded capsicum, which is cultivated in our gardens, and of which there are two varieties, one with red, and another with yellow fruit. 2. Capsicum baccatum, or bird pepper, which rises with a shrubby stalk four or five feet high, with its berries growing at the division of the branches: this is small, oval-shaped, and of a bright-red colour, from which, as we have said, the best cayenne is made. 3. Capsicum grossum, the bell-pepper: the fruit of this is red, and is the only kind fit for pickling.
Mode.—Pare, core, and quarter the apples, and throw them into cold water to preserve their whiteness. Put them in a saucepan, with sufficient water to moisten them, and boil till soft enough to pulp. Beat them up, adding sugar to taste, and a small piece of butter This quantity is sufficient for a good-sized tureen.
Time.—According to the apples, about 3/4 hour. Average cost, 4d.
Sufficient, this quantity, for a goose or couple of ducks.
Mode. Put the gravy in a stewpan, and add the apples, after having pared, cored, and quartered them. Let them simmer gently till tender; beat them to a pulp, and season with cayenne. This sauce is preferred by many to the preceding.
Time.—According to the apples, about 3/4 hour. Average cost, 6d.
Mode.—Break the asparagus in the tender part, wash well, and put them into boiling salt and water to render them green. When they are tender, take them out, and put them into cold water; drain them on a cloth till all moisture is absorbed from them. Put the butter in a stewpan, with the parsley and onions; lay in the asparagus, and fry the whole over a sharp fire for 5 minutes. Add salt, the sugar and sauce tournée, and simmer for another 5 minutes. Rub all through a tammy, and if not a very good colour, use a little spinach green. This sauce should be rather sweet.
Time.—Altogether 40 minutes.
Average cost for this quantity, 1s. 4d.
366. INGREDIENTS – 4 lbs. of knuckle of veal, 1 cow-heel, 3 or 4 slices of ham, any poultry trimmings, 2 carrots, 1 onion, 1 faggot of savoury herbs, 1 glass of sherry, 3 quarts of water; seasoning to taste of salt and whole white pepper; 3 eggs.
Mode.—Lay the ham on the bottom of a stewpan, cut up the veal and cow-heel into small pieces, and lay them on the ham; add the poultry trimmings, vegetables, herbs, sherry, and water, and let the whole simmer very gently for 4 hours, carefully taking away all scum that may rise to the surface; strain through a fine sieve, and pour into an earthen pan to get cold. Have ready a clean stewpan, put in the jelly, and be particular to leave the sediment behind, or it will not be clear. Add the whites of 3 eggs, with salt and pepper, to clarify; keep stirring over the fire, till the whole becomes very white; then draw it to the side, and let it stand till clear. When this is the case, strain it through a cloth or jelly-bag, and use it for moulding poultry, etc. (See Explanation of French Terms, page 44.) Tarragon vinegar may be added to give an additional flavour.
Time.—Altogether 4–1/2 hours. Average cost for this quantity, 4s.
WHITE PEPPER.—This is the produce of the same plant as that which produces the black pepper, from which it is manufactured by steeping this in lime and water, and rubbing it between the hands till the coats come off. The best berries only will bear this operation; hence the superior qualities of white pepper fetch a higher price than those of the other. It is less acrid than the black, and is much prized among the Chinese. It is sometimes adulterated with rice-flour, as the black is with burnt bread. The berries of the pepper-plant grow in spikes of from twenty to thirty, and are, when ripe, of a bright-red colour. After being gathered, which is done when they are green, they are spread out in the sun, where they dry and become black and shrivelled, when they are ready for being prepared for the market.
367. INGREDIENTS – 1 small bunch of parsley, 2 cloves, 1/2 bay-leaf, 1 small faggot of savoury herbs, salt to taste; 3 or 4 mushrooms, when obtainable; 2 pints of white stock, 1 pint of cream, 1 tablespoonful of arrowroot.
Mode.—Put the stock into a stewpan, with the parsley, cloves, bay-leaf, herbs, and mushrooms; add a seasoning of salt, but no pepper, as that would give the sauce a dusty appearance, and should be avoided. When it has boiled long enough to extract the flavour of the herbs, etc., strain it, and boil it up quickly again, until it is nearly half-reduced. Now mix the arrowroot smoothly with the cream, and let it simmer very gently for 5 minutes over a slow fire; pour to it the reduced stock, and continue to simmer slowly for 10 minutes, if the sauce be thick. If, on the contrary, it be too thin, it must be stirred over a sharp fire till it thickens. This is the foundation of many kinds of sauces, especially white sauces. Always make it thick, as you can easily thin it with cream, milk, or white stock.
Time.—Altogether, 2 hours. Average cost, 1s. per pint.
[Illustration: THE CLOVE.]
THE CLOVE.—The clove-tree is a native of the Molucca Islands, particularly Amboyna, and attains the height of a laurel-tree, and no verdure is ever seen under it. From the extremities of the branches quantities of flowers grow, first white; then they become green, and next red and hard, when they have arrived at their clove state. When they become dry, they assume a yellowish hue, which subsequently changes into a dark brown. As an aromatic, the clove is highly stimulating, and yields an abundance of oil. There are several varieties of the clove; the best is called the royal clove, which is scarce, and which is blacker and smaller than the other kinds. It is a curious fact, that the flowers, when fully developed, are quite inodorous, and that the real fruit is not in the least aromatic. The form is that of a nail, having a globular head, formed of the four petals of the corolla, and four leaves of the calyx not expanded, with a nearly cylindrical germen, scarcely an inch in length, situate below.
Mode.—Put in a stewpan the milk, and 1/2 pint of water, with the onions, mace, mushrooms, parsley, and salt. Let these simmer gently for 20 minutes. In the mean time, rub on a plate 1 oz. of flour and butter; put it to the liquor, and stir it well till it boils up; then place it by the side of the fire, and continue stirring until it is perfectly smooth. Now strain it through a sieve into a basin, after which put it back in the stewpan, and add the lemon-juice. Beat up the yolks of the eggs with about 4 dessertspoonfuls of milk; strain this to the sauce, keep stirring it over the fire, but do not let it boil, lest it curdle.
Time.—Altogether, 3/4 hour. Average cost, 5d. per pint.
This is a good sauce to pour over boiled fowls when they are a bad colour.
Mode.—Wash the beets free from dirt, and be very careful not to prick the outside skin, or they would lose their beautiful colour. Put them into boiling water, let them simmer gently, and when about three parts done, which will be in 1–1/2 hour, take them out and let them cool. Boil the vinegar with pepper and allspice, in the above proportion, for ten minutes, and when cold, pour it on the beets, which must be peeled and cut into slices about 1/2 inch thick. Cover with bladder to exclude the air, and in a week they will be fit for use.
Average cost, 3s. per gallon.
[Illustration: BLACK PEPPER.]
BLACK PEPPER.—This well-known aromatic spice is the fruit of a species of climbing vine, and is a native of the East Indies, and is extensively cultivated in Malabar and the eastern islands of Borneo, Sumatra, and Java, and others in the same latitude. It was formerly confined to these countries, but it has now been introduced to Cayenne. It is generally employed as a condiment; but it should never be forgotten, that, even in small quantities, it produces detrimental effects on inflammatory constitutions. Dr. Paris, in his work on Diet, says, “Foreign spices were not intended by Nature for the inhabitants of temperate climes; they are heating, and highly stimulant. I am, however, not anxious to give more weight to this objection than it deserves. Man is no longer the child of Nature, nor the passive inhabitant of any particular region. He ranges over every part of the globe, and elicits nourishment from the productions of every climate. Nature is very kind in favouring the growth of those productions which are most likely to answer our local wants. Those climates, for instance, which engender endemic diseases, are, in general, congenial to the growth of plants that operate as antidotes to them. But if we go to the East for tea, there is no reason why we should not go to the West for sugar. The dyspeptic invalid, however, should be cautious in their use; they may afford temporary benefit, at the expense of permanent mischief. It has been well said, that the best quality of spices is to stimulate the appetite, and their worst to destroy, by insensible degrees, the tone of the stomach. The intrinsic goodness of meats should always be suspected when they require spicy seasonings to compensate for their natural want of sapidity.” The quality of pepper is known by rubbing it between the hands: that which withstands this operation is good, that which is reduced to powder by it is bad. The quantity of pepper imported into Europe is very great.
Mode.—Grate or scrape the horseradish very fine, and mix it with the other ingredients, which must be all well blended together; serve in a tureen. With cold meat, this sauce is a very good substitute for pickles.
Average cost for this quantity, 2d.
Mode.—Peel and quarter the onion, and simmer it in the milk till perfectly tender. Break the bread, which should be stale, into small pieces, carefully picking out any hard outside pieces; put it in a very clean saucepan, strain the milk over it, cover it up, and let it remain for an hour to soak. Now beat it up with a fork very smoothly, add a seasoning of pounded mace, cayenne, and salt, with 1 oz. of butter; give the whole one boil, and serve. To enrich this sauce, a small quantity of cream may be added just before sending it to table.
Time.—Altogether, 1–3/4 hour.
Average cost for this quantity, 4d.
Sufficient to serve with a turkey, pair of fowls, or brace of partridges.
MACE.—This is the membrane which surrounds the shell of the nutmeg. Its general qualities are the same as those of the nutmeg, producing an agreeable aromatic odour, with a hot and acrid taste. It is of an oleaginous nature, is yellowish in its hue, and is used largely as a condiment. In “Beeton’s Dictionary” we find that the four largest of the Banda Islands produce 150,000 lbs. of it annually, which, with nutmegs, are their principal articles of export.
Mode.—Put the giblets, with the head, neck, legs, &c., into a stewpan; add the onion, pepper, mace, salt, and rather more than 1 pint of water. Let this simmer for an hour, when strain the liquor over the bread, which should be previously grated or broken into small pieces. Cover up the saucepan, and leave it for an hour by the side of the fire; then beat the sauce up with a fork until no lumps remain, and the whole is nice and smooth. Let it boil for 3 or 4 minutes; keep stirring it until it is rather thick; when add 3 tablespoonfuls of good melted butter or cream, and serve very hot.
Time.—2–1/4 hours. Average cost, 6d.
373. The browning for soups (see No. 108) answers equally well for sauces and gravies, when it is absolutely necessary to colour them in this manner; but where they can be made to look brown by using ketchup, wine, browned flour, tomatoes, or any colour sauce, it is far preferable. As, however, in cooking, so much depends on appearance, perhaps it would be as well for the inexperienced cook to use the artificial means (No. 108). When no browning is at hand, and you wish to heighten the colour of your gravy, dissolve a lump of sugar in an iron spoon over a sharp fire; when it is in a liquid state, drop it into the sauce or gravy quite hot. Care, however, must be taken not to put in too much, as it would impart a very disagreeable flavour.
Mode.—Put the butter into a fryingpan over a nice clear fire, and when it smokes, throw in the parsley, and add the vinegar and seasoning. Let the whole simmer for a minute or two, when it is ready to serve. This is a very good sauce for skate.
375. Put the butter in a basin before the fire, and when it melts, stir it round once or twice, and let it settle. Do not strain it unless absolutely necessary, as it causes so much waste. Pour it gently off into a clean dry jar, carefully leaving all sediment behind. Let it cool, and carefully exclude the air by means of a bladder, or piece of wash-leather, tied over. If the butter is salt, it may be washed before melting, when it is to be used for sweet dishes.
Mode.—Cut the butter up into small pieces, put it in a saucepan, dredge over the flour, and add the water and a seasoning of salt; stir it one way constantly till the whole of the ingredients are melted and thoroughly blended. Let it just boil, when it is ready to serve. If the butter is to be melted with cream, use the same quantity as of water, but omit the flour; keep stirring it, but do not allow it to boil.
Time.—1 minute to simmer.
Average cost for this quantity, 4d.
Mode.—Mix the flour and water to a smooth batter, which put into a saucepan. Add the butter and a seasoning of salt, keep stirring one way till all the ingredients are melted and perfectly smooth; let the whole boil for a minute or two, and serve.
Time.—2 minutes to simmer.
Average cost for this quantity, 2d.
Mode.—Mix the flour and water to a smooth batter, carefully rubbing down with the back of a spoon any lumps that may appear. Put it in a saucepan with all the other ingredients, and let it thicken on the fire, but do not allow it to boil, lest it should taste of the flour.
Time.—1 minute to simmer.
Average cost, 5d. for this quantity.
[Illustration: THE NUTMEG.]
NUTMEG.—This is a native of the Moluccas, and was long kept from being spread in other places by the monopolizing spirit of the Dutch, who endeavoured to keep it wholly to themselves by eradicating it from every other island. We find it stated in “Beeton’s Dictionary of Universal Information,” under the article “Banda Islands,” that the four largest are appropriated to the cultivation of nutmegs, of which about 500,000 lbs. are annually produced. The plant, through the enterprise of the British, has now found its way into Penang and Bencooleu, where it flourishes and produces well. It has also been tried to be naturalized in the West Indies, and it bears fruit all the year round. There are two kinds of nutmeg,—one wild, and long and oval-shaped, the other cultivated, and nearly round. The best is firm and hard, and has a strong aromatic odour, with a hot and acrid taste. It ought to be used with caution by those who are of paralytic or apoplectic habits.
Mode.—Make the butter quite hot, and be careful not to colour it. Well whisk the yolks of the eggs, pour them to the butter, beating them all the while. Make the sauce hot over the fire, but do not let it boil; add a squeeze of lemon-juice.
Mode.—Mix the butter and flour smoothly together on a plate, put it into a lined saucepan, and pour in the milk. Keep stirring it one way over a sharp fire; let it boil quickly for a minute or two, and it is ready to serve. This is a very good foundation for onion, lobster, or oyster sauce: using milk instead of water makes it look so much whiter and more delicate.
Time.—Altogether, 10 minutes. Average cost for this quantity, 3d.
Mode.—Slice the garlic, and put it, with all the above ingredients, into a clean bottle. Let it stand to infuse for a month, when strain it off quite clear, and it will be fit for use. Keep it in small bottles well sealed, to exclude the air.
Average cost for this quantity, 8d.
Mode.—Chop the capers twice or thrice, and add them, with their liquor, to 1/2 pint of melted butter, made very smoothly; keep stirring well; let the sauce just simmer, and serve in a tureen. Pickled nasturtium-pods are fine-flavoured, and by many are eaten in preference to capers. They make an excellent sauce.
Time.—2 minutes to simmer. Average cost for this quantity, 8d.
Sufficient to serve with a leg of mutton.
383. INGREDIENTS – 1/2 pint of melted butter No. 376, 3 dessertspoonfuls of capers, 1 dessertspoonful of their liquor, a small piece of glaze, if at hand (this may be dispensed with), 1/4 teaspoonful of salt, ditto of pepper, 1 tablespoonful of anchovy essence.
Mode.—Cut the capers across once or twice, but do not chop them fine; put them in a saucepan with 1/2 pint of good melted butter, and add all the other ingredients. Keep stirring the whole until it just simmers, when it is ready to serve.
Time.—1 minute to simmer. Average cost for this quantity, 5d.
Sufficient to serve with a skate, or 2 or 3 slices of salmon.
[Illustration: THE CAPER.]
CAPERS.—These are the unopened buds of a low trailing shrub, which grows wild among the crevices of the rocks of Greece, as well as in northern Africa: the plant, however, has come to be cultivated in the south of Europe. After being pickled in vinegar and salt, they are imported from Sicily, Italy, and the south of France. The best are from Toulon.
Mode.—Boil the parsley slowly to let it become a bad colour; cut, but do not chop it fine. Add it to 1/2 pint of smoothly-made melted butter, with salt and vinegar in the above proportions. Boil up and serve.
Time.—2 minutes to simmer. Average cost for this quantity, 3d.
Mode.—Gather the pods with the stalks on, before they turn red; slit them down the side with a small-pointed knife, and remove the seeds only; put them in a strong brine for 3 days, changing it every morning; then take them out, lay them on a cloth, with another one over them, until they are perfectly free from moisture. Boil sufficient vinegar to cover them, with mace and nutmeg in the above proportions; put the pods in a jar, pour over the vinegar when cold, and exclude them from the air by means of a wet bladder tied over.
Mode.—Put the vinegar, or spirit, into a bottle, with the above proportion of cayenne, and let it steep for a month, when strain off and bottle for use. This is excellent seasoning for soups or sauces, but must be used very sparingly.
Mode.—Boil the celery in salt and water, until tender, and cut it into pieces 2 inches long. Put the stock into a stewpan with the mace and herbs, and let it simmer for 1/2 hour to extract their flavour. Then strain the liquor, add the celery and a thickening of butter kneaded with flour, or, what is still better, with arrowroot; just before serving, put in the cream, boil it up and squeeze in a little lemon-juice. If necessary, add a seasoning of salt and white pepper.
Time.—25 minutes to boil the celery. Average cost, 1s. 3d.
Sufficient, this quantity, for a boiled turkey.
This sauce may be made brown by using gravy instead of white stock, and flavouring it with mushroom ketchup or Harvey’s sauce.
ARROWROOT.—This nutritious fecula is obtained from the roots of a plant which is cultivated in both the East and West Indies. When the roots are about a year old, they are dug up, and, after being well washed, are beaten to a pulp, which is afterwards, by means of water, separated from the fibrous part. After being passed through a sieve, once more washed, and then suffered to settle, the sediment is dried in the sun, when it has become arrowroot. The best is obtained from the West Indies, but a large quantity of what is sold in London is adulterated with potato-starch. As a means of knowing arrowroot when it is good, it may be as well to state, that the genuine article, when formed into a jelly, will remain firm for three or four days, whilst the adulterated will become as thin as milk in the course of twelve hours.
Mode.—Wash the celery, boil it in salt and water till tender, and cut it into pieces 2 inches long; make 1/2 pint melted butter by recipe No. 380; put in the celery, pounded mace, and seasoning; simmer for three minutes, when the sauce will be ready to serve.
Time.—25 minutes to boil the celery. Average cost, 6d.
Sufficient, this quantity, for a boiled fowl.
Mode.—Crush the seed by pounding it in a mortar; boil the vinegar, and when cold, pour it to the seed; let it infuse for a fortnight, when strain and bottle off for use. This is frequently used in salads.
Mode.—Peel off the outside skin of the chestnuts, and put them into boiling water for a few minutes; take off the thin inside peel, and put them into a saucepan, with the white stock and lemon-peel, and let them simmer for 1–1/2 hour, or until the chestnuts are quite tender. Rub the whole through a hair-sieve with a wooden spoon; add seasoning and the cream; let it just simmer, but not boil, and keep stirring all the time. Serve very hot; and quickly. If milk is used instead of cream, a very small quantity of thickening may be required: that, of course, the cook will determine.
Time.—Altogether nearly two hours. Average cost, 8d.
Sufficient, this quantity, for a turkey.
Mode.—Prepare the chestnuts as in the foregoing recipe, by scalding and peeling them; put them in a stewpan with the stock and sugar, and simmer them till tender. When done, add Spanish sauce in the above proportion, and rub the whole through a tammy. Keep this sauce rather liquid, as it is liable to thicken.
Time.—1–1/2 hour to simmer the chestnuts. Average cost, 8d.
392. INGREDIENTS – 1–1/2 lbs. of moist sugar, 3/4 lb. of salt, 1/4 lb. of garlic, 1/4 lb. of onions, 3/4 lb. of powdered ginger, 1/4 lb. of dried chilies, 3/4 lb. of mustard-seed, 3/4 lb. of stoned raisins, 2 bottles of best vinegar, 30 large unripe sour apples.
Mode.—The sugar must be made into syrup; the garlic, onions, and ginger be finely pounded in a mortar; the mustard-seed be washed in cold vinegar, and dried in the sun; the apples be peeled, cored, and sliced, and boiled in a bottle and a half of the vinegar. When all this is done, and the apples are quite cold, put them into a large pan, and gradually mix the whole of the rest of the ingredients, including the remaining half-bottle of vinegar. It must be well stirred until the whole is thoroughly blended, and then put into bottles for use. Tie a piece of wet bladder over the mouths of the bottles, after they are well corked. This chetney is very superior to any which can be bought, and one trial will prove it to be delicious.
Note.—This recipe was given by a native to an English lady, who had long been a resident in India, and who, since her return to her native country, has become quite celebrated amongst her friends for the excellence of this Eastern relish.
GARLIC.—The smell of this plant is generally considered offensive, and it is the most acrimonious in its taste of the whole of the alliaceous tribe. In 1548 it was introduced to England from the shores of the Mediterranean, where it is abundant, and in Sicily it grows naturally. It was in greater repute with our ancestors than it is with ourselves, although it is still used as a seasoning herb. On the continent, especially in Italy, it is much used, and the French consider it an essential in many made dishes.
Mode.—Pound or cut the chilies in half, and infuse them in the vinegar for a fortnight, when it will be fit for use. This will be found an agreeable relish to fish, as many people cannot eat it without the addition of an acid and cayenne pepper.
394. INGREDIENTS.-1 glass of port wine, 2 tablespoonfuls of Harvey’s sauce, 1 dessertspoonful of mushroom ketchup, ditto of pounded white sugar, 1 tablespoonful of lemon-juice, 1/4 teaspoonful of cayenne pepper, ditto of salt.
Mode.—Mix all the ingredients thoroughly together, and heat the sauce gradually, by placing the vessel in which it is made in a saucepan of boiling water. Do not allow it to boil, and serve directly it is ready. This sauce, if bottled immediately, will keep good for a fortnight, and will be found excellent.
395. Consommé is made precisely in the same manner as stock No. 107, and, for ordinary purposes, will be found quite good enough. When, however, a stronger stock is desired, either put in half the quantity of water, or double that of the meat. This is a very good foundation for all white sauces.
Mode.—Choose a nice fresh crab, pick all the meat away from the shell, and cut it into small square pieces. Make 1/2 pint of melted butter by recipe No. 380, put in the fish and seasoning; let it gradually warm through, and simmer for 2 minutes. It should not boil.
Average cost, 1s. 2d.
Mode.—Put the butter in a very clean saucepan, dredge in the flour, and keep shaking round till the butter is melted. Add the seasoning and cream, and stir the whole till it boils; let it just simmer for 5 minutes, when add either pounded mace or lemon-juice to taste, to give it a flavour.
Time.—5 minutes to simmer. Average cost for this quantity, 7d.
This sauce may be flavoured with very finely-shredded shalot.
Mode.—Peel the cucumbers, quarter them, and take out the seeds; cut them into small pieces; put them in a cloth, and rub them well, to take out the water which hangs about them. Put the butter in a saucepan, add the cucumbers, and shake them over a sharp fire until they are of a good colour. Then pour over it the gravy, mix this with the cucumbers, and simmer gently for 10 minutes, when it will be ready to serve.
Time.—Altogether, 1/2 hour.
Mode.—Cut the cucumbers in thick slices, sprinkle salt over them, and let them remain for 24 hours. The next day, drain them well for 6 hours, put them into a jar, pour boiling vinegar over them, and keep them in a warm place. In a short time, boil up the vinegar again, add pepper and ginger in the above proportion, and instantly cover them up. Tie them down with bladder, and in a few days they will be fit for use.
[Illustration: LONG PEPPER.]
LONG PEPPER.—This is the produce of a different plant from that which produces the black, it consisting of the half-ripe flower-heads of what naturalists call Piper longum and chaba. It is the growth, however, of the same countries; indeed, all the spices are the produce of tropical climates only. Originally, the most valuable of these were found in the Spice Islands, or Moluccas, of the Indian Ocean, and were highly prized by the nations of antiquity. The Romans indulged in them to a most extravagant degree. The long pepper is less aromatic than the black, but its oil is more pungent.
Mode.—Cut the cucumbers into small pieces, after peeling them and taking out the seeds. Put them in a stewpan with the white stock and seasoning; simmer gently till the cucumbers are tender, which will be in about 1/4 hour. Then add the yolks of the eggs well beaten; stir them to the sauce, but do not allow it to boil, and serve very hot.
Time.—Altogether, 1/2 hour.
Mode.—Pare and slice the cucumbers, put them in a stone jar or wide-mouthed bottle, with the vinegar; slice the onions and shalots, and add them, with all the other ingredients, to the cucumbers. Let it stand 4 or 5 days, boil it all up, and when cold, strain the liquor through a piece of muslin, and store it away in small bottles well sealed. This vinegar is a very nice addition to gravies, hashes, &e., as well as a great improvement to salads, or to eat with cold meat.
Mode.—Pare and slice the cucumbers (as for the table), sprinkle well with salt, and let them remain for 24 hours; strain off the liquor, pack in jars, a thick layer of cucumbers and salt alternately; tie down closely, and, when wanted for use, take out the quantity required. Now wash them well in fresh water, and dress as usual with pepper, vinegar, and oil.
[Illustration: THE CUCUMBER.]
THE CUCUMBER.—Though the melon is far superior in point of flavour to this fruit, yet it is allied to the cucumber, which is known to naturalists as Cucumia sativus. The modern Egyptians, as did their forefathers, still eat it, and others of its class. Cucumbers were observed, too, by Bishop Heber, beyond the Ganges, in India; and Burckhardt noticed them in Palestine. (See No. 127.)
Mode.—Choose the greenest cucumbers, and those that are most free from seeds; put them in strong salt and water, with a cabbage-leaf to keep them down; tie a paper over them, and put them in a warm place till they are yellow; then wash them and set them over the fire in fresh water, with a very little salt, and another cabbage-leaf over them; cover very closely, but take care they do not boil. If they are not a fine green, change the water again, cover them as before, and make them hot. When they are a good colour, take them off the fire and let them cool; cut them in quarters, take out the seeds and pulp, and put them into cold water. Let them remain for 2 days, changing the water twice each day, to draw out the salt. Put the sugar, with 1/4 pint of water, in a saucepan over the fire; remove the scum as it rises, and add the lemon-peel and ginger with the outside scraped off; when the syrup is tolerably thick, take it off the fire, and when cold, wipe the cucumbers dry, and put them in. Boil the syrup once in 2 or 3 days for 3 weeks; strengthen it if required, and let it be quite cold before the cucumbers are put in. Great attention must be paid to the directions in the commencement of this recipe, as, if these are not properly carried out, the result will be far from satisfactory.
Seasonable.—This recipe should be used in June, July, or August.
[Illustration: SALT-MINE AT NORTHWICH.]
COMMON SALT.—By this we mean salt used for cooking purposes, which is found in great abundance both on land and in the waters of the ocean. Sea or salt water, as it is often called, contains, it has been discovered, about three per cent, of salt on an average. Solid rocks of salt are also found in various parts of the world, and the county of Chester contains many of these mines, and it is from there that much of our salt comes. Some springs are so highly impregnated with salt, as to have received the name of “brine” springs, and are supposed to have become so by passing through the salt rocks below ground, and thus dissolving a portion of this mineral substance. We here give an engraving of a salt-mine at Northwich, Cheshire, where both salt-mines and brine-springs are exceedingly productive, and are believed to have been wrought so far back as during the occupation of Britain by the Romans.
Mode.—Put the milk in a very clean saucepan, and let it boil. Beat the eggs, stir to them the milk and pounded sugar, and put the mixture into a jug. Place the jug in a saucepan of boiling water; keep stirring well until it thickens, but do not allow it to boil, or it will curdle. Serve the sauce in a tureen, stir in the brandy, and grate a little nutmeg over the top. This sauce may be made very much nicer by using cream instead of milk; but the above recipe will be found quite good enough for ordinary purposes.
Average cost, 6d. per pint.
Sufficient, this quantity, for 2 fruit tarts, or 1 pudding.
Mode.—Put all the ingredients, except the lemon-juice, into a stew-pan; set it over the fire, and keep continually stirring. When it is sufficiently thick, take it off, as it should not boil. If, however, it happens to curdle, strain the sauce through a tammy, add the lemon-juice, and serve. Tarragon vinegar may be used instead of plain, and, by many, is considered far preferable.
Average cost, 6d.
Note.—This sauce may be poured hot over salad, and left to get quite cold, when it should be thick, smooth, and somewhat stiff. Excellent salads may be made of hard eggs, or the remains of salt fish flaked nicely from the bone, by pouring over a little of the above mixture when hot, and allowing it to cool.
[Illustration: THE LEMON.]
THE LEMON.—This fruit is a native of Asia, and is mentioned by Virgil as an antidote to poison. It is hardier than the orange, and, as one of the citron tribe, was brought into Europe by the Arabians. The lemon was first cultivated in England in the beginning of the 17th century, and is now often to be found in our green-houses. The kind commonly sold, however, is imported from Portugal, Spain, and the Azores. Some also come from St. Helena; but those from Spain are esteemed the best. Its juice is now an essential for culinary purposes; but as an antiscorbutic its value is still greater. This juice, which is called citric acid, may be preserved in bottles for a considerable time, by covering it with a thin stratum of oil. Shrub is made from it with rum and sugar.
Mode.—Put the Béchamel into a saucepan with the seasoning, and bring it to a boil. Make a green colouring by pounding some parsley in a mortar, and squeezing all the juice from it. Let this just simmer, when add it to the sauce. A moment before serving, put in the lemon-juice, but not before; for otherwise the sauce would turn yellow, and its appearance be thus spoiled.
Average cost, 4d.
BÉCHAMEL SAUCE—This sauce takes its name from a Monsieur Béchamel, a rich French financier, who, according to Borne authorities, invented it; whilst others affirm he only patronized it. Be this as it may, it is one of the most pleasant sauces which come to table, and should be most carefully and intelligently prepared. It is frequently used, as in the above recipe, as a principal ingredient and basis for other sauces.
Mode.—Boil the eggs for 12 minutes, then dip them into cold water, and take off the shells. Put the vinegar, with the pepper and ginger, into a stewpan, and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Now place the eggs in a jar, pour over them the vinegar, &c., boiling hot, and, when cold, tie them down with bladder to exclude the air. This pickle will be ready for use in a month.
Average cost, for this quantity, 1s. 9d.
Seasonable.—This should be made about Easter, as at this time eggs are plentiful and cheap. A store of pickled eggs will be found very useful and ornamental in serving with many first and second course dishes.
GINGER.—The ginger-plant, known to naturalists as Zingiber officinale, is a native, of the East and West Indies. It grows somewhat like the lily of the valley, but its height is about three feet. In Jamaica it flowers about August or September, fading about the end of the year. The fleshy creeping roots, which form the ginger of commerce, are in a proper state to be dug when the stalks are entirely withered. This operation is usually performed in January and February; and when the roots are taken out of the earth, each one is picked, scraped, separately washed, and afterwards very carefully dried. Ginger is generally considered as less pungent and heating to the system than might he expected from its effects on the organs of taste, and it is frequently used, with considerable effect, as an anti-spasmodic and carminative.
Mode.—Boil 6 eggs for 20 minutes, strip off the shells, take the yolks and pound them in a mortar. Beat the yolks of the other 2 eggs; add them, with a little flour and salt, to those pounded; mix all well together, and roll into balls. Boil them before they are put into the soup or other dish they may be intended for.
Time.—20 minutes to boil the eggs. Average cost, for this quantity, 8d.
Sufficient, 2 dozen balls for 1 tureen of soup.
Mode.—Boil the eggs until quite hard, which will be in about 20 minutes, and put them into cold water for 1/2 hour. Strip off the shells, chop the eggs into small pieces, not, however, too fine. Make the melted butter very smoothly, by recipe No. 376, and, when boiling, stir in the eggs, and serve very hot. Lemon-juice may be added at pleasure.
Time.—20 minutes to boil the eggs. Average cost, 8d.
Sufficient.—This quantity for 3 or 4 lbs. of fish.
Note.—When a thicker sauce is required, use one or two more eggs to the same quantity of melted butter.
410. INGREDIENTS – 1/4 pint of walnut ketchup, 1/4 pint of mushroom ditto, 2 tablespoonfuls of Indian soy, 2 tablespoonfuls of port wine; 1/4 oz. of white pepper, 2 oz. of shalots, 1/4 oz. of cayenne, 1/4 oz. of cloves, 3/4 pint of vinegar.
Mode.—Put the whole of the ingredients into a bottle, and let it remain for a fortnight in a warm place, occasionally shaking up the contents. Strain, and bottle off for use. This sauce will be found an agreeable addition to gravies, hashes, stews, &c.
Average cost, for this quantity, 1s. 6d.
SHALOT, OR ESCHALOT.—This plant is supposed to have been introduced to England by the Crusaders, who found it growing wild in the vicinity of Ascalon. It is a bulbous root, and when full grown, its leaves wither in July. They ought to be taken up in the autumn, and when dried in the house, will keep till spring. It is called by old authors the “barren onion,” and is used in sauces and pickles, soups and made dishes, and as an accompaniment to chops and steaks.
411. INGREDIENTS – 2 slices of lean ham, 1 lb. of veal, 1–1/2 pint of white stock, No. 107; 2 or 3 sprigs of parsley, 1/2 a bay-leaf, 2 or 3 sprigs of savoury herbs, 6 green onions, 3 shalots, 2 cloves, 1 blade of mace, 2 glasses of sherry or Madeira, thickening of butter and flour.
Mode.—Cut up the ham and veal into small square pieces, and put them into a stewpan. Moisten these with 1/2 pint of the stock No. 107, and simmer till the bottom of the stewpan is covered with a nicely-coloured glaze, when put in a few more spoonfuls to detach it. Add the remainder of the stock, with the spices, herbs, shalots, and onions, and simmer very gently for 1 hour. Strain and skim off every particle of fat, and when required for use, thicken with butter and flour, or with a little roux. Add the wine, and, if necessary, a seasoning of cayenne; when it will be ready to serve.
Average cost, 2s. per pint.
Note.—The wine in this sauce may be omitted, and an onion sliced and fried of a nice brown substituted for it. This sauce or gravy is used for many dishes, and with most people is a general favourite.
Mode.—Make the melted butter very smoothly, by recipe No. 376; chop the fennel rather small, carefully cleansing it from any grit or dirt, and put it to the butter when this is on the point of boiling. Simmer for a minute or two, and serve in a tureen.
Average cost, 4d.
Sufficient to serve with 5 or 6 mackerel.
FENNEL.—This elegantly-growing plant, of which the Latin name is Anethum foeniculum, grows best in chalky soils, where, indeed, it is often found wild. It is very generally cultivated in gardens, and has much improved on its original form. Various dishes are frequently ornamented and garnished with its graceful leaves, and these are sometimes boiled in soups, although it is more usually confined, in English cookery, to the mackerel sauce as here given.
Mode.—Put all the ingredients into a large bottle, and shake well every day for a fortnight. Keep it in small bottles well sealed, and in a few days it will be fit for use.
Average cost, for this quantity, 1s.
414. INGREDIENTS – 1 middling-sized lobster, 1/2 an anchovy, 1 head of boiled celery, the yolk of a hard-boiled egg; salt, cayenne, and mace to taste; 4 tablespoonfuls of bread crumbs, 2 oz. of butter, 2 eggs.
Mode.—Pick the meat from the shell of the lobster, and pound it, with the soft parts, in a mortar; add the celery, the yolk of the hard-boiled egg, seasoning, and bread crumbs. Continue pounding till the whole is nicely amalgamated. Warm the butter till it is in a liquid state; well whisk the eggs, and work these up with the pounded lobster-meat. Make into balls of about an inch in diameter, and fry of a nice pale brown.
Sufficient, from 18 to 20 balls for 1 tureen of soup.
415. INGREDIENTS – 1 lb. of veal, 1 lb. of fat bacon; salt, cayenne, pepper, and pounded mace to taste; a very little nutmeg, the same of chopped lemon-peel, 1/2 teaspoonful of chopped parsley, 1/2 teaspoonful of minced savoury herbs, 1 or 2 eggs.
Mode.—Chop the veal and bacon together, and put them in a mortar with the other ingredients mentioned above. Pound well, and bind with 1 or 2 eggs which have been previously beaten and strained. Work the whole well together, and the forcemeat will be ready for use. If the pie is not to be eaten immediately, omit the herbs and parsley, as these would prevent it from keeping. Mushrooms or truffles may be added.
Sufficient for 2 small pies.
MARJORAM.—Although there are several species of marjoram, that which is known as the sweet or knotted marjoram, is the one usually preferred in cookery. It is a native of Portugal, and when its leaves are used as a seasoning herb, they have an agreeable aromatic flavour. The winter sweet marjoram used for the same purposes, is a native of Greece, and the pot-marjoram is another variety brought from Sicily. All of them are favourite ingredients in soups, stuffings, &c.
416. INGREDIENTS – 1 oz. of fresh butter, 1 oz. of suet, 1 oz. of fat bacon, 1 small teaspoonful of minced savoury herbs, including parsley; a little onion, when liked, shredded very fine; salt, nutmeg, and cayenne to taste; 4 oz. of bread crumbs, 1 egg.
Mode.—Mix all the ingredients well together, carefully mincing them very finely; beat up the egg, moisten with it, and work the whole very smoothly together. Oysters or anchovies may be added to this forcemeat, and will be found a great improvement.
Average cost, 6d.
Sufficient for a moderate-sized haddock or pike.
417. INGREDIENTS – 2 oz. of ham or lean bacon, 1/4 lb. of suet, the rind of half a lemon, 1 teaspoonful of minced parsley, 1 teaspoonful of minced sweet herbs; salt, cayenne, and pounded mace to taste; 6 oz. of bread crumbs, 2 eggs.
Mode.—Shred the ham or bacon, chop the suet, lemon-peel, and herbs, taking particular care that all be very finely minced; add a seasoning to taste, of salt, cayenne, and mace, and blend all thoroughly together with the bread crumbs, before wetting. Now beat and strain the eggs, work these up with the other ingredients, and the forcemeat will be ready for use. When it is made into balls, fry of a nice brown, in boiling lard, or put them on a tin and bake for 1/2 hour in a moderate oven. As we have stated before, no one flavour should predominate greatly, and the forcemeat should be of sufficient body to cut with a knife, and yet not dry and heavy. For very delicate forcemeat, it is advisable to pound the ingredients together before binding with the egg; but for ordinary cooking, mincing very finely answers the purpose.
Average cost, 8d.
Sufficient for a turkey, a moderate-sized fillet of veal, or a hare.
Note.—In forcemeat for HARE, the liver of the animal is sometimes added. Boil for 5 minutes, mince it very small, and mix it with the other ingredients. If it should be in an unsound state, it must be on no account made use of.
SWEET HERBS.—Those most usually employed for purposes of cooking, such as the flavouring of soups, sauces, forcemeats, &c., are thyme, sage, mint, marjoram, savory, and basil. Other sweet herbs are cultivated for purposes of medicine and perfumery: they are most grateful both to the organs of taste and smelling; and to the aroma derived from them is due, in a great measure, the sweet and exhilarating fragrance of our “flowery meads.” In town, sweet herbs have to be procured at the greengrocers’ or herbalists’, whilst, in the country, the garden should furnish all that are wanted, the cook taking great care to have some dried in the autumn for her use throughout the winter months.
418. INGREDIENTS – 3 oz. of bread crumbs, 1 teaspoonful of minced savoury herbs, 8 oysters, 2 anchovies (these may be dispensed with), 2 oz. of suet; salt, pepper, and pounded mace to taste; 6 tablespoonfuls of cream or milk, the yolks of 2 eggs.
Mode.—Beard and mince the oysters, prepare and mix the other ingredients by recipe No. 416, and blend the whole thoroughly together. Moisten with the cream and eggs, put all into a stewpan, and stir it over the fire till it thickens, when put it into the fish, which should have previously been cut open, and sew it up.
Time.—4 or 6 minutes to thicken.
Average cost, 10d.
Sufficient for a moderate-sized pike.
419. It will be well to state, in the beginning of this recipe, that French forcemeat, or quenelles, consist of the blending of three separate processes; namely, panada, udder, and whatever meat you intend using.
420. INGREDIENTS – The crumb of 2 penny rolls, 4 tablespoonfuls of white stock, No. 107, 1 oz. of butter, 1 slice of ham, 1 bay-leaf, a little minced parsley, 2 shalots, 1 clove, 2 blades of mace, a few mushrooms (when obtainable), butter, the yolks of 2 eggs.
Mode.—Soak the crumb of the rolls in milk for about 1/2 hour, then take it out, and squeeze so as to press the milk from it; put the soaked bread into a stewpan with the above quantity of white stock, and set it on one side; then put into a separate stewpan 1 oz. of butter, a slice of lean ham cut small, with a bay-leaf, herbs, mushrooms, spices, &c., in the above proportions, and fry them gently over a slow fire. When done, moisten with 2 teacupfuls of white stock, boil for 20 minutes, and strain the whole through a sieve over the panada in the other stewpan. Place it over the fire, keep constantly stirring, to prevent its burning, and when quite dry, put in a small piece of butter. Let this again dry up by stirring over the fire; then add the yolks of 2 eggs, mix well, put the panada to cool on a clean plate, and use it when required. Panada should always be well flavoured, as the forcemeat receives no taste from any of the other ingredients used in its preparation.
421. Put the udder into a stewpan with sufficient water to cover it; let it stew gently till quite done, when take it out to cool. Trim all the upper parts, cut it into small pieces, and pound well in a mortar, till it can be rubbed through a sieve. That portion which passes through the strainer is one of the three ingredients of which French forcemeats are generally composed; but many cooks substitute butter for this, being a less troublesome and more expeditious mode of preparation.
[Illustration: PESTLE AND MORTAR.]
PESTLE AND MORTAR.—No cookery can be perfectly performed without the aid of the useful instruments shown in the engraving. For pounding things sufficiently fine, they are invaluable, and the use of them will save a good deal of time, besides increasing the excellence of the preparations. They are made of iron, and, in that material, can be bought cheap; but as these are not available, for all purposes, we should recommend, as more economical in the end, those made of Wedgwood, although these are considerably more expensive than the former.
Mode.—Take the fleshy part of veal, scrape it with a knife, till all the meat is separated from the sinews, and allow about 1/2 lb. for an entrée. Chop the meat, and pound it in a mortar till reduced to a paste; then roll it into a ball; make another of panada (No. 420), the same size, and another of udder (No. 421), taking care that these three balls be of the same size. It is to be remembered, that equality of size, and not of weight, is here necessary. When the three ingredients are properly prepared, pound them altogether in a mortar for some time; for the more quenelles are pounded, the more delicate they are. Now moisten with the eggs, whites and yolks, and continue pounding, adding a seasoning of pepper, spices, &c. When the whole is well blended together, mould it into balls, or whatever shape is intended, roll them in flour, and poach in boiling water, to which a little salt should have been added. If the quenelles are not firm enough, add the yolk of another egg, but omit the white, which only makes them hollow and puffy inside. In the preparation of this recipe, it would be well to bear in mind that the ingredients are to be well pounded and seasoned, and must be made hard or soft according to the dishes they are intended for. For brown or white ragoûts they should be firm, and when the quenelles are used very small, extreme delicacy will be necessary in their preparation. Their flavour may be varied by using the flesh of rabbit, fowl, hare, pheasant, grouse, or an extra quantity of mushroom, parsley, &c.
Time,—About 1/4 hour to poach in boiling water.
Sufficient, 1/2 lb. of veal or other meat, with other ingredients in proportion, for 1 entrée.
Note.—The French are noted for their skill in making forcemeats; one of the principal causes of their superiority in this respect being, that they pound all the ingredients so diligently and thoroughly. Any one with the slightest pretensions to refined cookery, must, in this particular, implicitly follow the example of our friends across the Channel.
(See No. 189.)
423. SOYER’S RECIPE FOR FORCEMEATS.—Take a pound and a half of lean veal from the fillet, and cut it in long thin slices; scrape with a knife till nothing but the fibre remains; put it in a mortar, pound it 10 minutes, or until in a purée; pass it through a wire sieve (use the remainder in stock); then take 1 pound of good fresh beef suet, which skin, shred, and chop very fine; put it in a mortar and pound it; then add 6 oz. of panada (that is, bread soaked in milk and boiled till nearly dry) with the suet; pound them well together, and add the veal; season with a teaspoonful of salt, a quarter one of pepper, half that of nutmeg; work all well together; then add four eggs by degrees, continually pounding the contents of the mortar. When well mixed, take a small piece in a spoon, and poach it in some boiling water; and if it is delicate, firm, and of a good flavour, it is ready for use.
424. Cut the bread into thin slices, place them in a cool oven overnight, and when thoroughly dry and crisp, roll them down into fine crumbs. Put some lard, or clarified dripping, into a frying-pan; bring it to the boiling-point, throw in the crumbs, and fry them very quickly. Directly they are done, lift them out with a slice, and drain them before the fire from all greasy moisture. When quite crisp, they are ready for use. The fat they are fried in should be clear, and the crumbs should not have the slightest appearance or taste of having been, in the least degree, burnt.
425. Cut the bread into thin slices, and stamp them out in whatever shape you like,—rings, crosses, diamonds, &c. &c. Fry them in the same manner as the bread crumbs, in clear boiling lard, or clarified dripping, and drain them until thoroughly crisp before the fire. When variety is desired, fry some of a pale colour, and others of a darker hue.
426. Proceed as above, by frying some slices of bread cut in any fanciful shape. When quite crisp, dip one side of the sippet into the beaten white of an egg mixed with a little flour, and place it on the edge of the dish. Continue in this manner till the border is completed, arranging the sippets a pale and a dark one alternately.
427. INGREDIENTS – 1 small carrot, a small faggot of sweet herbs, including parsley, 1 onion, 5 or 6 mushrooms (when obtainable), 1 bay-leaf, 6 cloves, 1 blade of mace, 2 oz. of butter, 1 glass of sherry, 1–1/2 pint of white stock, No. 107, thickening of butter and flour, the juice of half a lemon.
Mode.—Cut up the onion and carrot into small rings, and put them into a stewpan with the herbs, mushrooms, bay-leaf, cloves, and mace; add the butter, and simmer the whole very gently over a slow fire until the onion is quite tender. Pour in the stock and sherry, and stew slowly for 1 hour, when strain it off into a clean saucepan. Now make a thickening of butter and flour, put it to the sauce, stir it over the fire until perfectly smooth and mellow, add the lemon-juice, give one boil, when it will be ready for table.
Time.—Altogether 2 hours.
Average cost, 1s. 3d per pint.
Sufficient, half this quantity for two slices of salmon.
SAGE.—This was originally a native of the south of Europe, but it has long been cultivated in the English garden. There are several kinds of it, known as the green, the red, the small-leaved, and the broad-leaved balsamic. In cookery, its principal use is for stuffings and sauces, for which purpose the red is the most agreeable, and the green the next. The others are used for medical purposes.
428. INGREDIENTS – Salt and water, 1 oz. of bruised ginger, 1/2 oz. of whole black pepper, 1/4 oz. of whole allspice, 4 cloves, 2 blades of mace, a little horseradish. This proportion of pepper, spices, &c., for 1 quart of vinegar.
Mode.—Let the gherkins remain in salt and water for 3 or 4 days, when take them out, wipe perfectly dry, and put them into a stone jar. Boil sufficient vinegar to cover them, with spices and pepper, &c., in the above proportion, for 10 minutes; pour it, quite boiling, over the gherkins, cover the jar with vine-leaves, and put over them a plate, setting them near the fire, where they must remain all night. Next day drain off the vinegar, boil it up again, and pour it hot over them. Cover up with fresh leaves, and let the whole remain till quite cold. Now tie down closely with bladder to exclude the air, and in a month or two, they will be fit for use.
Seasonable from the middle of July to the end of August.
GHERKINS.—Gherkins are young cucumbers; and the only way in which they are used for cooking purposes is pickling them, as by the recipe here given. Not having arrived at maturity, they have not, of course, so strongly a developed flavour as cucumbers, and, as a pickle, they are very general favourites.
429. INGREDIENTS – 1 pint of green gooseberries, 3 tablespoonfuls of Béchamel, No. 367 (veal gravy may be substituted for this), 2 oz. of fresh butter; seasoning to taste of salt, pepper, and grated nutmeg.
Mode.—Boil the gooseberries in water until quite tender; strain them, and rub them through a sieve. Put into a saucepan the Béchamel or gravy, with the butter and seasoning; add the pulp from the gooseberries, mix all well together, and heat gradually through. A little pounded sugar added to this sauce is by many persons considered an improvement, as the saccharine matter takes off the extreme acidity of the unripe fruit.
Time.—Boil the gooseberries from 20 minutes to 1/2 hour.
Sufficient, this quantity, for a large dish of mackerel.
Seasonable from May to July.
[Illustration: THE GOOSEBERRY.]
THE GOOSEBERRY.—This useful and wholesome fruit (Ribes grossularia) is thought to be indigenous to the British Isles, and may be occasionally found in a wild state in some of the eastern counties, although, when uncultivated, it is but a very small and inferior berry. The high state of perfection to which it has been here brought, is due to the skill of the English gardeners; for in no other country does it attain the same size and flavour. The humidity of the British climate, however, has doubtless something to do with the result; and it is said that gooseberries produced in Scotland as far north as Inverness, are of a very superior character. Malic and citric acid blended with sugar, produce the pleasant flavour of the gooseberry; and upon the proper development of these properties depends the success of all cooking operations with which they are connected.
Mode.—We may remark at the outset, that unless glaze is wanted in very large quantities, it is seldom made expressly. Either of the stocks mentioned above, boiled down and reduced very considerably, will be found to produce a very good glaze. Put the stock into a stewpan, over a nice clear fire; let it boil till it becomes somewhat stiff, when keep stirring, to prevent its burning. The moment it is sufficiently reduced, and comes to a glaze, turn it out into the glaze-pot, of which we have here given an engraving. As, however, this is not to be found in every establishment, a white earthenware jar would answer the purpose; and this may be placed in a vessel of boiling water, to melt the glaze when required. It should never be warmed in a saucepan, except on the principle of the bain marie, lest it should reduce too much, and become black and bitter. If the glaze is wanted of a pale colour, more veal than beef should be used in making the stock; and it is as well to omit turnips and celery, as these impart a disagreeable bitter flavour.
TO GLAZE COLD JOINTS, &c.—Melt the glaze by placing the vessel which contains it, into the bain marie or saucepan of boiling water; brush it over the meat with a paste-brush, and if in places it is not quite covered, repeat the operation. The glaze should not be too dark a colour. (See Coloured Cut of Glazed Ham, P.)
[Illustration: THE BAIN MARIE.]
GLAZE-KETTLE.—This is a kettle used for keeping the strong stock boiled down to a jelly, which is known by the name of glaze. It is composed of two tin vessels, as shown in the cut, one of which, the upper,—containing the glaze, is inserted into one of larger diameter and containing boiling water. A brush is put in the small hole at the top of the lid, and is employed for putting the glaze on anything that may require it.
THE BAIN MARIE.—So long ago as the time when emperors ruled in Rome, and the yellow Tiber passed through a populous and wealthy city, this utensil was extensively employed; and it is frequently mentioned by that profound culinary chemist of the ancients, Apicius. It is an open kind of vessel (as shown in the engraving and explained in our paragraph No. 87, on the French terms used in modern cookery), filled with boiling or nearly boiling water; and into this water should be put all the stewpans containing those ingredients which it is desired to keep hot. The quantity and quality of the contents of these vessels are not at all affected; and if the hour of dinner is uncertain in any establishment, by reason of the nature of the master’s business, nothing is so certain a means of preserving the flavour of all dishes as the employment of the bain marie.
Mode.—Boil the gooseberries in water until they are quite tender; mash them and press them through a sieve; put the pulp into a saucepan with the above ingredients; simmer for 3 or 4 minutes, and serve very hot.
Time.—3 or 4 minutes.
Note.—We have given this recipe as a sauce for green geese, thinking that some of our readers might sometimes require it; but, at the generality of fashionable tables, it is now seldom or never served.
SORREL.—We gather from the pages of Pliny and Apicius, that sorrel was cultivated by the Romans in order to give it more strength and flavour, and that they also partook of it sometimes stewed with mustard, being seasoned with a little oil and vinegar. At the present day, English cookery is not much indebted to this plant (Rumex Acetosa), although the French make use of it to a considerable extent. It is found in most parts of Great Britain, and also on the continent, growing wild in the grass meadows, and, in a few gardens, it is cultivated. The acid of sorrel is very prononcé, and is what chemists term a binoxalate of potash; that is, a combination of oxalic acid with potash.
432. Either of the stocks, Nos. 104, 105, or 107, will be found to answer very well for the basis of many gravies, unless these are wanted very rich indeed. By the addition of various store sauces, thickening and flavouring, the stocks here referred to may be converted into very good gravies. It should be borne in mind, however, that the goodness and strength of spices, wines, flavourings, &c., evaporate, and that they lose a great deal of their fragrance, if added to the gravy a long time before they are wanted. If this point is attended to, a saving of one half the quantity of these ingredients will be effected, as, with long boiling, the flavour almost entirely passes away. The shank-bones of mutton, previously well soaked, will be found a great assistance in enriching gravies; a kidney or melt, beef skirt, trimmings of meat, &c. &c., answer very well when only a small quantity is wanted, and, as we have before observed, a good gravy need not necessarily be so very expensive; for economically-prepared dishes are oftentimes found as savoury and wholesome as dearer ones. The cook should also remember that the fragrance of gravies should not be overpowered by too much spice, or any strong essences, and that they should always be warmed in a bain marie, after they are flavoured, or else in a jar or jug placed in a saucepan full of boiling water. The remains of roast-meat gravy should always be saved; as, when no meat is at hand, a very nice gravy in haste may be made from it, and when added to hashes, ragoûts, &c., is a great improvement.
GRAVY-KETTLE.—This is a utensil which will not be found in every kitchen; but it is a useful one where it is necessary to keep gravies hot for the purpose of pouring over various dishes as they are cooking. It is made of copper, and should, consequently, be heated over the hot plate, if there be one, or a charcoal stove. The price at which it can be purchased is set down by Messrs. Slack at 14s.
Mode.—Put a common dish with a small quantity of salt in it under the meat, about a quarter of an hour before it is removed from the fire. When the dish is full, take it away, baste the meat, and pour the gravy into the dish on which the joint is to be served.
SAUCES AND GRAVIES IN THE MIDDLE AGES.—Neither poultry, butcher’s meat, nor roast game were eaten dry in the middle ages, any more than fried fish is now. Different sauces, each having its own peculiar flavour, were served with all these dishes, and even with the various parts of each animal. Strange and grotesque sauces, as, for example, “eggs cooked on the spit,” “butter fried and roasted,” were invented by the cooks of those days; but these preparations had hardly any other merit than that of being surprising and difficult to make.
434. INGREDIENTS – 1/2 lb. of shin of beef, 1/2 onion, 1/4 carrot, 2 or 3 sprigs of parsley and savoury herbs, a piece of butter about the size of a walnut; cayenne and mace to taste, 3/4 pint of water.
Mode.—Cut up the meat into very small pieces, slice the onion and carrot, and put them into a small saucepan with the butter. Keep stirring over a sharp fire until they have taken a little colour, when add the water and the remaining ingredients. Simmer for 1/2 hour, skim well, strain, and flavour, when it will be ready for use.
Time.—1/2 hour. Average cost, for this quantity, 5d.
A HUNDRED DIFFERENT DISHES.—Modern housewives know pretty well how much care, and attention, and foresight are necessary in order to serve well a little dinner for six or eight persons,—a dinner which will give credit to the ménage, and satisfaction and pleasure to the guests. A quickly-made gravy, under some circumstances that we have known occur, will be useful to many housekeepers when they have not much time for preparation. But, talking of speed, and time, and preparation, what a combination of all these must have been necessary for the feast at the wedding of Charles VI. of France. On that occasion, as Froissart the chronicler tells us, the art of cooking, with its innumerable paraphernalia of sauces, with gravy, pepper, cinnamon, garlic, scallion, brains, gravy soups, milk potage, and ragoûts, had a signal triumph. The skilful chef-de-cuisine of the royal household covered the great marble table of the regal palace with no less than a hundred different dishes, prepared in a hundred different ways.
A GOOD BEEF GRAVY FOR POULTRY, GAME, &c.
435. INGREDIENTS – 1/2 lb. of lean beef, 1/2 pint of cold water, 1 shalot or small onion, 1/2 a teaspoonful of salt, a little pepper, 1 tablespoonful of Harvey’s sauce or mushroom ketchup, 1/2 a teaspoonful of arrowroot.
Mode.—Cut up the beef into small pieces, and put it, with the water, into a stewpan. Add the shalot and seasoning, and simmer gently for 3 hours, taking care that it does not boil fast. A short time before it is required, take the arrowroot, and having mixed it with a little cold water, pour it into the gravy, which keep stirring, adding the Harvey’s sauce, and just letting it boil. Strain off the gravy in a tureen, and serve very hot.
Time.—3 hours. Average cost, 8d. per pint.
436. INGREDIENTS – 2 oz. of butter, 2 large onions, 2 lbs. of shin of beef, 2 small slices of lean bacon (if at hand), salt and whole pepper to taste, 3 cloves, 2 quarts of water. For thickening, 2 oz. of butter, 3 oz. of flour.
Mode.—Put the butter into a stewpan; set this on the fire, throw in the onions cut in rings, and fry them a light brown; then add the beef and bacon, which should be cut into small square pieces; season, and pour in a teacupful of water; let it boil for about ten minutes, or until it is of a nice brown colour, occasionally stirring the contents. Now fill up with water in the above proportion; let it boil up, when draw it to the side of the fire to simmer very gently for 1–1/2 hour; strain, and when cold, take off all the fat. In thickening this gravy, melt 3 oz. of butter in a stewpan, add 2 oz. of flour, and stir till of a light-brown colour; when cold, add it to the strained gravy, and boil it up quickly. This thickening may be made in larger quantities, and kept in a stone jar for use when wanted.
Time.—Altogether, 2 hours. Average cost, 4d. per pint.
CLOVES.—This very agreeable spice is the unexpanded flower-buds of the Caryophyllus aromaticus, a handsome, branching tree, a native of the Malacca Islands. They take their name from the Latin word clavus, or the French clou, both meaning a nail, and to which the clove has a considerable resemblance. Cloves were but little known to the ancients, and Pliny appears to be the only writer who mentions them; and he says, vaguely enough, that some were brought to Rome, very similar to grains of pepper, but somewhat longer; that they were only to be found in India, in a wood consecrated to the gods; and that they served in the manufacture of perfumes. The Dutch, as in the case of the nutmeg (see 378), endeavoured, when they gained possession of the Spice Islands, to secure a monopoly of cloves, and, so that the cultivation of the tree might be confined to Amboyna, their chief island, bribed the surrounding chiefs to cut down all trees found elsewhere. The Amboyna, or royal clove, is said to be the best, and is rare; but other kinds, nearly equally good, are produced in other parts of the world, and they come to Europe from Mauritius, Bourbon, Cayenne, and Martinique, as also from St. Kitts, St. Vincent’s, and Trinidad. The clove contains about 20 per cent. of volatile aromatic oil, to which it owes its peculiar pungent flavour, its other parts being composed of woody fibre, water, gum, and resin.
Mode.—Slice, flour, and fry the onions and carrots in the butter until of a nice light-brown colour; then add the boiling water and the remaining ingredients; let the whole stew gently for about an hour; then strain, and when cold, skim off all the fat. Thicken it in the same manner as recipe No. 436, and, if thought necessary, add a few drops of colouring No. 108.
Time.—1 hour. Average cost, 2d. per pint.
Note.—The addition of a small quantity of mushroom ketchup or Harvey’s sauce very much improves the flavour of this gravy.
438. INGREDIENTS – 2 lbs. of shin of beef, 1 large onion or a few shalots, a little flour, a bunch of savoury herbs, 2 blades of mace, 2 or 3 cloves, 4 whole allspice, 1/4 teaspoonful of whole pepper, 1 slice of lean ham or bacon, 1/2 a head of celery (when at hand), 2 pints of boiling water; salt and cayenne to taste.
Mode.—Cut the beef into thin slices, as also the onions, dredge them with flour, and fry of a pale brown, but do not allow them to get black; pour in the boiling water, let it boil up; and skim. Add the remaining ingredients, and simmer the whole very gently for 2 hours, or until all the juices are extracted from the meat; put it by to get cold, when take off all the fat. This gravy may be flavoured with ketchup, store sauces, wine, or, in fact, anything that may give additional and suitable relish to the dish it is intended for.
Time.—Rather more than 2 hours.
Average cost, 8d. per pint.
ALLSPICE.—This is the popular name given to pimento, or Jamaica pepper, known to naturalists as Eugenia pimenta, and belonging to the order of Myrtaceae. It is the berry of a fine tree in the West Indies and South America, which attains a height of from fifteen to twenty feet: the berries are not allowed to ripen, but, being gathered green, are then dried in the sun, and then become black. It is an inexpensive spice, and is considered more mild and innocent than most other spices; consequently, it is much used for domestic purposes, combining a very agreeable variety of flavours.
439. INGREDIENTS – The necks, feet, livers, and gizzards of the fowls, 1 slice of toasted bread, 1/2 onion, 1 faggot of savoury herbs, salt and pepper to taste, 1/2 pint of water, thickening of butter and flour, 1 dessertspoonful of ketchup.
Mode.—Wash the feet of the fowls thoroughly clean, and cut them and the neck into small pieces. Put these into a stewpan with the bread, onion, herbs, seasoning, livers, and gizzards; pour the water over them and simmer gently for 1 hour. Now take out the liver, pound it, and strain the liquor to it. Add a thickening of butter and flour, and a flavouring of mushroom ketchup; boil it up and serve.
Time.—1 hour. Average cost, 4d. per pint.
440. INGREDIENTS – Bones and trimmings of the cooked joint intended for hashing, 1/4 teaspoonful of salt, 1/4 teaspoonful of whole pepper, 1/4 teaspoonful of whole allspice, a small faggot of savoury herbs, 1/2 head of celery, 1 onion, 1 oz. of butter, thickening, sufficient boiling water to cover the bones.
Mode.—Chop the bones in small pieces, and put them in a stewpan, with the trimmings, salt, pepper, spice, herbs, and celery. Cover with boiling water, and let the whole simmer gently for 1–1/2 or 2 hours. Slice and fry the onion in the butter till it is of a pale brown, and mix it gradually with the gravy made from the bones; boil for 1/4 hour, and strain into a basin; now put it back into the stewpan; flavour with walnut pickle or ketchup, pickled-onion liquor, or any store sauce that may be preferred. Thicken with a little butter and flour, kneaded together on a plate, and the gravy will be ready for use. After the thickening is added, the gravy should just boil, to take off the rawness of the flour.
Time.—2 hours, or rather more.
Average cost, 4d., exclusive of the bones and trimmings.
441. INGREDIENTS – 2 lbs. of shin of beef, 1/4 lb. of lean ham, 1 onion or a few shalots, 2 pints of water, salt and whole pepper to taste, 1 blade of mace, a faggot of savoury herbs, 1/2 a large carrot, 1/2 a head of celery.
Mode.—Cut up the beef and ham into small pieces, and slice the vegetables; take a jar, capable of holding two pints of water, and arrange therein, in layers, the ham, meat, vegetables, and seasoning, alternately, filling up with the above quantity of water; tie down the jar, or put a plate over the top, so that the steam may not escape; place it in the oven, and let it remain there from 6 to 8 hours; should, however, the oven be very hot, less time will be required. When sufficiently cooked, strain the gravy, and when cold, remove the fat. It may be flavoured with ketchup, wines, or any other store sauce that may be preferred.
It is a good plan to put the jar in a cool oven over-night, to draw the gravy; and then it will not require so long baking the following day.
Time.—From 6 to 8 hours, according to the oven.
Average cost, 7d. per pint.
CELERY.—As in the above recipe, the roots of celery are principally used in England for flavouring soups, sauces, and gravies, and for serving with cheese at the termination of a dinner, and as an ingredient for salad. In Italy, however, the green leaves and stems are also employed for stews and soups, and the seeds are also more frequently made use of on the continent than in our own islands. In Germany, celery is very highly esteemed; and it is there boiled and served up as a dish by itself, as well as used in the composition of mixed dishes. We ourselves think that this mild aromatic plant might oftener be cooked than it is; for there are very few nicer vegetable preparations brought to table than a well-dressed plate of stewed celery.
442. INGREDIENTS – 2 slices of nicely flavoured lean ham, any poultry trimmings, 3 lbs. of lean veal, a faggot of savoury herbs, including parsley, a few green onions (or 1 large onion may be substituted for these), a few mushrooms, when obtainable; 1 blade of mace, salt to taste, 3 pints of water.
Mode.—Cut up the ham and veal into small square pieces, put these in a stewpan, moistening them with a small quantity of water; place them over the fire to draw down. When the bottom of the stewpan becomes covered with a white glaze, fill up with water in the above proportion; add the remaining ingredients, stew very slowly for 3 or 4 hours, and do not forget to skim well the moment it boils. Put it by, and, when cold, take off all the fat. This may be used for Béchamel, sauce tournée, and many other white sauces.
Time.—3 or 4 hours. Average cost, 9d. per pint.
443. INGREDIENTS – Bones and trimmings of cold roast or boiled veal, 1–1/2 pint of water, 1 onion, 1/4 teaspoonful of minced lemon-peel, 1/4 teaspoonful of salt, 1 blade of pounded mace, the juice of 1/4 lemon; thickening of butter and flour.
Mode.—Put all the ingredients into a stewpan, except the thickening and lemon-juice, and let them simmer very gently for rather more than 1 hour, or until the liquor is reduced to a pint, when strain through a hair-sieve. Add a thickening of butter and flour, and the lemon-juice; set it on the fire, and let it just boil up, when it will be ready for use. It may be flavoured with a little tomato sauce, and, where a rather dark-coloured gravy is not objected to, ketchup, or Harvey’s sauce, may be added at pleasure.
Time.—Rather more than 1 hour. Average cost, 3d.
Mode.—Brown the trimmings over a nice clear fire, and put them in a stewpan with the shank-bones and water; simmer gently for 2 hours, strain and skim, and add the walnut ketchup and a seasoning of salt. Let it just boil, when it is ready to serve.
[Illustration: THE DEER.]
VENISON.—Far, far away in ages past, our fathers loved the chase, and what it brought; and it is usually imagined that when Isaac ordered his son Esau to go out with his weapons, his quiver and his bow, and to prepare for him savoury meat, such as he loved, that it was venison he desired. The wise Solomon, too, delighted in this kind of fare; for we learn that, at his table, every day were served the wild ox, the roebuck, and the stag. Xenophon informs us, in his History, that Cyrus, king of Persia, ordered that venison should never be wanting at his repasts; and of the effeminate Greeks it was the delight. The Romans, also, were devoted admirers of the flesh of the deer; and our own kings and princes, from the Great Alfred down to the Prince Consort, have hunted, although, it must be confessed, under vastly different circumstances, the swift buck, and relished their “haunch” all the more keenly, that they had borne themselves bravely in the pursuit of the animal.
445. On a very dry day, gather the herbs, just before they begin to flower. If this is done when the weather is damp, the herbs will not be so good a colour. (It is very necessary to be particular in little matters like this, for trifles constitute perfection, and herbs nicely dried will be found very acceptable when frost and snow are on the ground. It is hardly necessary, however, to state that the flavour and fragrance of fresh herbs are incomparably finer.) They should be perfectly freed from dirt and dust, and be divided into small bunches, with their roots cut off. Dry them quickly in a very hot oven, or before the fire, as by this means most of their flavour will be preserved, and be careful not to burn them; tie them up in paper bags, and keep in a dry place. This is a very general way of preserving dried herbs; but we would recommend the plan described in a former recipe.
Seasonable.—From the month of July to the end of September is the proper time for storing herbs for winter use.
Mode.—Prepare and dry the herbs by recipe No. 445; pick the leaves from the stalks, pound them, and sift them through a hair-sieve; mix in the above proportions, and keep in glass bottles, carefully excluding the air. This, we think, a far better method of keeping herbs, as the flavour and fragrance do not evaporate so much as when they are merely put in paper bags. Preparing them in this way, you have them ready for use at a moment’s notice.
Mint, sage, parsley, &c., dried, pounded, and each put into separate bottles, will be found very useful in winter.
[Illustration: CORK WITH WOODEN TOP.]
CORKS WITH WOODEN TOPS.—These are the best corks to use when it is indispensable that the air should not be admitted to the ingredients contained in bottles which are in constant use. The top, which, as will be seen by the accompanying little cut, is larger than the cork, is made of wood; and, besides effectually covering the whole top of the bottle, can be easily removed and again used, as no corkscrew is necessary to pull it out.
SAVORY.—This we find described by Columella, a voluminous Roman writer on agriculture, as an odoriferous herb, which, “in the brave days of old,” entered into the seasoning of nearly every dish. Verily, there are but few new things under the sun, and we don’t find that we have made many discoveries in gastronomy, at least beyond what was known to the ancient inhabitants of Italy. We possess two varieties of this aromatic herb, known to naturalists as Satureja. They are called summer and winter savory, according to the time of the year when they are fit for gathering. Both sorts are in general cultivation throughout England.
Mode.—Grate the horseradish, and mix it well with the sugar, salt, pepper, and mustard; moisten it with sufficient vinegar to give it the consistency of cream, and serve in a tureen: 3 or 4 tablespoonfuls of cream added to the above, very much improve the appearance and flavour of this sauce. To heat it to serve with hot roast beef, put it in a bain marie or a jar, which place in a saucepan of boiling water; make it hot, but do not allow it to boil, or it will curdle.
Note.—This sauce is a great improvement on the old-fashioned way of serving cold-scraped horseradish with hot roast beef. The mixing of the cold vinegar with the warm gravy cools and spoils everything on the plate. Of course, with cold meat, the sauce should be served cold.
[Illustration: THE HORSERADISH.]
THE HORSERADISH.—This has been, for many years, a favourite accompaniment of roast beef, and is a native of England. It grows wild in wet ground, but has long been cultivated in the garden, and is, occasionally, used in winter salads and in sauces. On account of the great volatility of its oil, it should never be preserved by drying, but should be kept moist by being buried in sand. So rapidly does its volatile oil evaporate, that even when scraped for the table, it almost immediately spoils by exposure to the air.
Mode.—Put all the ingredients into a bottle, which shake well every day for a fortnight. When it is thoroughly steeped, strain and bottle, and it will be fit for use immediately. This will be found an agreeable relish to cold beef, &c.
Seasonable.—This vinegar should be made either in October or November, as horseradish is then in its highest perfection.
449. INGREDIENTS – 1/4 lb. of coriander-seed, 1/4 lb. of turmeric, 2 oz. of cinnamon-seed, 1/2 oz. of cayenne, 1 oz. of mustard, 1 oz. of ground ginger, 1/2 ounce of allspice, 2 oz. of fenugreek-seed.
Mode.—Put all the ingredients in a cool oven, where they should remain one night; then pound them in a mortar, rub them through a sieve, and mix thoroughly together; keep the powder in a bottle, from which the air should be completely excluded.
Note.—We have given this recipe for curry-powder, as some persons prefer to make it at home; but that purchased at any respectable shop is, generally speaking, far superior, and, taking all things into consideration, very frequently more economical.
Mode.—Put the mustard, flour, and salt into a basin, and make them into a stiff paste with boiling water. Boil the shalots with the vinegar, ketchup, and anchovy sauce, for 10 minutes, and pour the whole, boiling, over the mixture in the basin; stir well, and reduce it to a proper thickness; put it into a bottle, with a bruised shalot at the bottom, and store away for use. This makes an excellent relish, and if properly prepared will keep for years.
MUSTARD.—Before the year 1729, mustard was not known at English tables. About that time an old woman, of the name of Clements, residing in Durham, began to grind the seed in a mill, and to pass the flour through several processes necessary to free the seed from its husks. She kept her secret for many years to herself, during which she sold large quantities of mustard throughout the country, but especially in London. Here it was introduced to the royal table, when it received the approval of George I. From the circumstance of Mrs. Clements being a resident at Durham, it obtained the name of Durham mustard. In the county of that name it is still principally cultivated, and the plant is remarkable for the rapidity of its growth. It is the best stimulant employed to impart strength to the digestive organs, and even in its previously coarsely-pounded state, had a high reputation with our ancestors.
451. INGREDIENTS – To each gallon of vinegar allow 6 cloves of garlic, 12 shalots, 2 sticks of sliced horseradish, 1/4 lb. of bruised ginger, 2 oz. of whole black pepper, 1 oz. of long pepper, 1 oz. of allspice, 12 cloves, 1/4 oz. of cayenne, 2 oz. of mustard-seed, 1/4 lb. of mustard, 1 oz. of turmeric; a white cabbage, cauliflowers, radish-pods, French beans, gherkins, small round pickling-onions, nasturtiums, capsicums, chilies, &c.
Mode.—Cut the cabbage, which must be hard and white, into slices, and the cauliflowers into small branches; sprinkle salt over them in a large dish, and let them remain two days; then dry them, and put them into a very large jar, with garlic, shalots, horseradish, ginger, pepper, allspice, and cloves, in the above proportions. Boil sufficient vinegar to cover them, which pour over, and, when cold, cover up to keep them free from dust. As the other things for the pickle ripen at different times, they may be added as they are ready: these will be radish-pods, French beans, gherkins, small onions, nasturtiums, capsicums, chilies, &c. &c. As these are procured, they must, first of all, be washed in a little cold vinegar, wiped, and then simply added to the other ingredients in the large jar, only taking care that they are covered by the vinegar. If more vinegar should be wanted to add to the pickle, do not omit first to boil it before adding it to the rest. When you have collected all the things you require, turn all out in a large pan, and thoroughly mix them. Now put the mixed vegetables into smaller jars, without any of the vinegar; then boil the vinegar again, adding as much more as will be required to fill the different jars, and also cayenne, mustard-seed, turmeric, and mustard, which must be well mixed with a little cold vinegar, allowing the quantities named above to each gallon of vinegar. Pour the vinegar, boiling hot, over the pickle, and when cold, tie down with a bladder. If the pickle is wanted for immediate use, the vinegar should be boiled twice more, but the better way is to make it during one season for use during the next. It will keep for years, if care is taken that the vegetables are quite covered by the vinegar.
This recipe was taken from the directions of a lady whose pickle was always pronounced excellent by all who tasted it, and who has, for many years, exactly followed the recipe given above.
Note.—For small families, perhaps the above quantity of pickle will be considered too large; but this may be decreased at pleasure, taking care to properly proportion the various ingredients.
[Illustration: INDIA PICKLE.]
KEEPING PICKLES.—Nothing shows more, perhaps, the difference between a tidy thrifty housewife and a lady to whom these desirable epithets may not honestly be applied, than the appearance of their respective store-closets. The former is able, the moment anything; is wanted, to put her hand on it at once; no time is lost, no vexation incurred, no dish spoilt for the want of “just little something,”—the latter, on the contrary, hunts all over her cupboard for the ketchup the cook requires, or the pickle the husband thinks he should like a little of with his cold roast beef or mutton-chop, and vainly seeks for the Embden groats, or arrowroot, to make one of her little boys some gruel. One plan, then, we strenuously advise all who do not follow, to begin at once, and that is, to label all their various pickles and store sauces, in the same way as the cut here shows. It will occupy a little time at first, but there will be economy of it in the long run.
VINEGAR.—This term is derived from the two French words vin aigre, ‘sour wine,’ and should, therefore, be strictly applied to that which is made only from wine. As the acid is the same, however it is procured, that made from ale also takes the same name. Nearly all ancient nations were acquainted with the use of vinegar. We learn in Ruth, that the reapers in the East soaked their bread in it to freshen it. The Romans kept large quantities of it in their cellars, using it, to a great extent, in their seasonings and sauces. This people attributed very beneficial qualities to it, as it was supposed to be digestive, antibilious, and antiscorbutic, as well as refreshing. Spartianus, a Latin historian, tells us that, mixed with water, it was the drink of the soldiers, and that, thanks to this beverage, the veterans of the Roman army braved, by its use, the inclemency and variety of all the different seasons and climates of Europe, Asia, and Africa. It is said, the Spanish peasantry, and other inhabitants of the southern parts of Europe, still follow this practice, and add to a gallon of water about a gill of wine vinegar, with a little salt; and that this drink, with a little bread, enables them, under the heat of their burning sun, to sustain the labours of the field.
452. INGREDIENTS – 8 oz. of sharp, sour apples, pared and cored; 8 oz. of tomatoes, 8 oz. of salt, 8 oz. of brown, sugar, 8 oz. of stoned raisins, 4 oz. of cayenne, 4 oz. of powdered ginger, 2 oz. of garlic, 2 oz. of shalots, 3 quarts of vinegar, 1 quart of lemon-juice.
Mode.—Chop the apples in small square pieces, and add to them the other ingredients. Mix the whole well together, and put in a well-covered jar. Keep this in a warm place, and stir every day for a month, taking care to put on the lid after this operation; strain, but do not squeeze it dry; store it away in clean jars or bottles for use, and the liquor will serve as an excellent sauce for meat or fish.
Seasonable.—Make this sauce when tomatoes are in full season, that is, from the beginning of September to the end of October.
PICKLES.—The ancient Greeks and Romans held their pickles in high estimation. They consisted of flowers, herbs, roots, and vegetables, preserved in vinegar, and which were kept, for a long time, in cylindrical vases with wide mouths. Their cooks prepared pickles with the greatest care, and the various ingredients were macerated in oil, brine, and vinegar, with which they were often impregnated drop by drop. Meat, also, after having been cut into very small pieces, was treated in the same manner.
Mode.—Put the stock into a stewpan with the mushrooms, shalots, and Madeira, and stew gently for 1/4 hour, then add the remaining ingredients, and let them just boil. When the sauce is done enough, put it in another stewpan, and warm it in a bain marie. (See No. 430.) The mushrooms should not be chopped long before they are wanted, as they will then become black.
Time.—1/4 hour. Average cost, for this quantity, 7d.
Sufficient for a small dish.
454. INGREDIENTS – 1/2 pint of white stock, No. 107; 2 tablespoonfuls of chopped mushrooms, 1 dessertspoonful of chopped shalots, 1 slice of ham, minced very fine; 1/4 pint of Béchamel, No. 367; salt to taste, a few drops of garlic vinegar, 1/2 teaspoonful of pounded sugar, a squeeze of lemon-juice.
Mode.—Put the shalots and mushrooms into a stewpan with the stock and ham, and simmer very gently for 1/2 hour, when add the Béchamel. Let it just boil up, and then strain it through a tammy; season with the above ingredients, and serve very hot. If this sauce should not have retained a nice white colour, a little cream may be added.
Time.—1/2 hour. Average cost, for this quantity, 10d.
Sufficient for a moderate-sized dish.
Note.—To preserve the colour of the mushrooms after pickling, throw them into water to which a little lemon-juice has been added.